Find Time to Understand Twitter's @Reply Feature This Cyber Monday

Finding time to make the most of Twitter is something that many readers of The Time Finder have expressed an interest in.

That’s why, this morning, I’d like to explore the confusion that continues to exist about the way the @reply works on Twitter.  It used to be that the @reply was an easy way to communicate with folks in your Twitter stream.  You could think of it as a public version of the DM (Direct Message).  Using this (old) feature, tweeps were able to see all @replies on the page of someone they were following, regardless of whether they were friends with the person who was receiving the @reply.

Then, last spring, Twitter changed how the @reply works, creating an uproar amongst Tweeters and eventually modifying their changes … though not reinstating the old system.  Basically, what happens now is that if you click “Reply” on a Tweet, your reply will be preceded by @ and the name of the tweep you are replying to.  This tweet will be visible only to people who are following both you AND the person you are replying to.

Here’s the description of how it works from the PC World article cited above:

Imagine you’re following Ashton Kutcher on Twitter, but you’re not following his wife Demi Moore. If Ashton types in Demi’s username to send her a message or a reply via Twitter you will see it; however, if Ashton hits the reply button to respond to Demi you won’t see his message to her.

For many, that’s just fine.  However, if you want ALL of your followers to be able to see your reply, the key is to NOT begin your message with the @ symbol.  It’s really just that simple.

If I want everyone to see my reply to @TerriZSoloCEO, for example, I could simply preface my tweet with a “_” or any other character and voila, it’s visible to all of my followers!  Or, perhaps even better, I can just craft my tweet so that I include the @TerriZSoloCEO anywhere within it … other than right at the beginning.

Do you use @replies on Twitter?  Did you know that not everyone was seeing them?  I hope this is helpful as you engage with your followers … and let me know how it goes – I’d love to hear!

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Let’s explore time together …

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